Larne Star Keith Semple Making It Big In America As He Secures A Place On Team Adam On The Voice US

A FORMER Northern Ireland reality TV star making it big in America.

Larne born Keith Semple has made it through the blind auditions in The Voice America and landed a place on Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine’s team on the show singing the Bon Jovi hit I’ll Be There For You.

The performer shot to fame in 2002 in the UK on talent show Popstars: The Rivals where he landed a place in boyband One True Voice.

One True Voice

Keith, second from left back row, in One True Voice in 2002

Despite losing the show to girl group Girls Aloud, Keith went on to record and promote singles Sacred Trust and Shakespeare’s Way With Words with the group before they split the following year.

On leaving One True Voice, Keith secured a lead spot on the Young Voices UK Arena tour before being offered the chance of a lifetime to front American band 7th Heaven.

Now 34, the star left for America nine years ago next month and hasn’t looked back.

As well as having had a successful career with 7th Heaven, he’s gained quite a following for his own music and last week was seen choosing Maroon 5 star Adam as his mentor on the American version of The Voice on NBC.

But Keith says it’s a very different experience from his first time on a reality TV talent show at the age of 21.

Keith performing in 2009 with 7th Heaven

Keith performing in 2009 with 7th Heaven

He explained: “I was only 21 when I was on Popstars: The Rivals. I’ve learned a lot as a person, a musician, a song-writer and performer since then. I’ve been performing on the big stage now for six or seven years and feel totally comfortable at this level.

“I came to America because I was offered the job of lead singer by the Chicago band 7th heaven. Since coming to America I’ve performed to more than three times the population of Northern Ireland since arriving here.

“How crazy is that? I’ve performed around 200 shows a year and have written three Chicago billboard number one albums, opened for Bon Jovi at Soldier field and played some massive festivals. It’s been a wild ride and it’s still going.

“But despite all that I would definitely say that the Young Voices Tours in the UK and performing at the Odyssey in Belfast to a home crowd are definitely still among my favourite shows.

“I recently just did the first ever US Young Voices show at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey which holds around 20,000 people – it was an amazing night.”

Always having been known for his determination and ambition Keith says applying for The Voice America was a natural thing to do.

But admitted it was one of the most nerve wrecking experiences of his career.

He said: “I think the USA Voice is the biggest music platform on Earth.

“I have never been more nervous than I was singing and waiting and hoping the chairs would turn. Which is weird cause I enjoy performing but this was a whole different experience.

“In the end two chairs turned Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani. Adam turned first and Gwen at the last minute. I chose Adam to be my mentor.

Keith at the Blind Auditions on The Voice

Keith at the Blind Auditions on The Voice

“Adam and I have very similar lives – minus the pay cheques of course – in that we’ve been in bands for over 16 years, written lot of songs, been on the road touring and love similar styles of music. He seemed like the perfect choice to help me progress in the show.”

Next month fans of the show in America will be able to see Keith appear in the famous battle rounds.

And two people who will be watching closely is Keith’s wife Lanette and daughter Rowan who he says have both changed his life forever.

“I have a beautiful two and a half year old daughter Rowan with my lovely wife Lanette” said Keith.

“I love being a dad and was always worried I’d be a terrible dad until she was actually born and then a switch just switched on inside me and it became the most easy, fun and amazing thing I’ve ever done.

Adam Levine from Maroon 5 who will mentor Keith

Adam Levine from Maroon 5 who will mentor Keith

“From an emotional level being a dad has been the best thing to happen to me so far. I’m talking to you right now with her sitting opposite me at the kitchen table just watching and listening to me and asking me 400 questions every minute. I love it. I love sharing all I have learned with her.

“And it’s made me even more determined to succeed, now it’s not just about me, it’s about her, my family and making the best possible life for all of us.

“I will never give up. This is what I do and I will do it until they wheel me on stage like BB King. And I will keep singing and performing until the day I die. For some people like me, music is simply a part of my life I couldn’t be without.”

Despite being busy and having a family of his own Keith still tries to make it home as often as possible.

The Voice - Season 9He said: “It’s always tough being away from family but because my dad traveled for his work most our lives it is something our family is a little better equipped to handle than others. It’s still tough though.

“I try to get home to Northern Ireland once a year if I can.”

And although his home fans can’t vote for Keith on the show when the time comes he’s still grateful for all the support he’s been receiving from Northern Ireland.

He said: “I’d like to say a big hello and thank you to all the people back home who have been following my progress, I hope they enjoy watching this new adventure unfold.

“I always say to people to add me on Facebook, I’m easy to find as I like staying in touch with people back home.

“I always try to get to everyone who messages me or adds me but I’ll admit that’s getting harder since The Voice aired.

“I hope I can do Northern Ireland proud on Team Adam.”

Connect with Keith on Facebook HERE

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.